I suppose it’s a good thing I decided to dust this thing off.
Yesterday, I received a message from my little brother, informing me that I should probably call our mother. He mentioned that she was old and that she was falling apart so I should really call her. This, of course, set off alarm bells. Usually, if the two of us are messaging each other, it’s regarding his pregnant girlfriend or random other things. We don’t usually talk about anything of substance, so I was kind of concerned. I asked him what was going on, but received no response. This was either a calculated move on his part or he was busy doing whatever he does on the weekends. So, I called my mom and asked her why I had to call since my kid brother was telling me nothing new – we are all aware that my mom is old and falling apart… the two almost go hand-in-hand, one might say.
Thing is that instead of just falling apart, my mom was diagnosed with some serious shit.
She was finally diagnosed with diabetes, which isn’t surprising. She has had hallmarks of the disease for a few years now and I can recall when I was a teenager that she had a theory that she was pre-diabetic. Since my maternal grandmother was diabetic and for probably the same reasons as my mother (diet and weight), it’s really not surprising. And my mom admitted that when she told me, “I’m not really surprised.” Of course, the doctors said the usual advice about how to counteract it – exercise and diet. These are, again, not surprising facts considering it’s what I hear all the time. And the diet part seems to be working out very well for TH’s aunt who was diagnosed with it not that long ago.
I can handle that diagnosis, though.
It’s the congestive heart failure that bothers me.
This is something that my grandmother, also, had in later years. I honestly can’t remember a time where she wasn’t sitting at the kitchen table, not really getting up and doing anything because she couldn’t maneuver without losing her breath. And it wasn’t just lack of oxygen but just simply being unable to do so. And I remember the long, long lists of pills she would have to take daily (not all for the diabetes or the CHF) because of this disease. I watched my grandmother slowly die from this disease – going on oxygen and then having her lips blue more often than not because she wasn’t getting enough – before she finally went into that forever-night years after she had been put on oxygen.
This whole thing bothers me for a lot of reasons, but I think the most is the fact that this is yet another reminder that I have a parent and that, one day, that parent will die.
I remember when I was a kid, I would worry about what would happen to my kid brother and I if my mother ever went. Since our father had died when we were young, it was our mom or nothing. And now, I have to face that reality. I don’t really have to worry about where we’ll go since we’re no longer dependents. But I have to come to grips with the fact that, one day, I will live in a world where my mother doesn’t live anymore. And I will, one day, have to come to terms with the fact that, even though I am an adult and so is my little brother, we will be orphans. This, also, means that I will have to be an adult and do things to … you know … put her to rest when that happens.
I don’t think there is a really good way to deal with any of these things? And I don’t even know how the fuck you would do that.
I know there are treatments available and that, probably, my mom won’t pass on for years. It’s still kind of very jarring, though, to be informed that she was diagnosed. And that, one day, possibly, this is going to kill her.